We all lead…
Even if we don’t all consider ourselves leaders.
At the pinnacle of my Corporate Career, I managed 13 business units, had upward of 1000 employees in my portfolio, and more than 15 direct reports at any given time. My job description included a lot of things: Business Development, Human Resource Functions, Financial Metrics, Risk Management and Liability, Management and Leadership Functions….Ultimately, though, I saw my role as the necessity to lead – To inspire, to motivate, to strategize, to move forward, to correct:
Today I’m an entrepreneur: A Coach. A Consultant. A Speaker. I’m a one-man-show, most days – but yet, I still lead, every day. Every morning, I must choose my direction, and set my priorities – I must constantly direct and re-direct myself. Beyond that, I must lead my clients’ experiences – I still have to motivate, to listen, to inspire, to strategize. I must hold my clients accountable to the goals they set for themselves, and myself accountable when no one else is going to:
Leadership of Self.
As you probably know, if you know me at all, I’m also a youth sports enthusiast – I sit on the Youth Football Board, I coach softball, I’m the Team Mom for basketball, I’m a cheerleader at soccer and baseball. I spend a lot of time examining how I lead the kids’ when I’m coaching, and watching how others do it, too. If my team loses game, after game, after game, do they hang their heads and give up? Or am I able to help them focus on the next goal, work harder, improve over their performance over the day before? My purpose is to help them build confidence, build connections, and build resilience:
Leadership in Community.
I’m a parent. A wife. A friend. A daughter. A sister. Sometimes my daughter will come home from school needing to navigate a complicated friendship, or my son will find himself in the wrong situation, with the wrong people, at the wrong time (please tell me this happens to your kids, too!). Occasionally my phone will ring and friend needs to talk through a crisis – big or small – to find their way to the other side of whatever is in front of them. Most days (though not all) I pride myself on being able to be the untroubled space for the troubled loved one in front of me – to listen, to support, and to empathize. Most days, I tap into what I know to be leadership, in order to be in relationship with the people I care about most:
Leadership in Life.
I hear people (clients, friends, peers) tell me every day “But I’m not a leader”. Don’t be silly – we all lead (we just may not all be good at it – yet). I guarantee that someone is looking to you. Someone is learning from you. Someone is following your lead.
So let me ask you: What kind of leader do you want to be?
Do you know how to motivate? Inspire? Keep moving forward when the shit hits the fan? Do you know how to listen? How to reflect? How to stay calm when someone else needs that from you the most?
Today, I’d love for everyone that reads this to ask yourself: What’s one thing that I can do in the next 3 weeks to become a better leader – whether it’s for myself, my team, my family or my community? Here are some resources: Read a book. Take a class. Hire a coach. Watch a TedTalk. Attend a retreat. No time? Read an article. Find a favorite quote and post it somewhere.
I guarantee that when you start thinking of yourself as a leader, you’ll start noticing how much it’s true.
Onward and upward!
PS: I’d love to see you in my upcoming “LEAD” Retreat, incorporating Equus Coaching and Equine Assisted Learning in the heart of Oregon! Come see me in June – You’ll be glad you did! Email me to find out more or apply here!